Hello all, sorry for the delay between posts, but what with the ongoing kitchen reno, visitors, gardening and various other bits and pieces of life, time just seems to have gotten away from me. With the warm weather the desire for lighter fare and not such heavy meals comes up. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my roasted dinners slathered with gravy and sauces and all that wonderful stuff but it just seems labour intensive in the summer time when what you’d rather be doing is planting a petunia. French Onion Soup for me is an all season dish, comforting in the cold, but relatively light as a dinner in the warmer weather. Shrimp rolls serve as my poor man’s lobster rolls, not quite as luxurious, but if you close your eyes you can pretend.
Everyone has their own versions of both of these dishes but this is how I made them yesterday.
French Onion Soup – serves 4
4 leeks, white part only, well washed and sliced thinly
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly
1 clove of fresh minced garlic (optional)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 cups of low or no sodium chicken stock
4 cups of low or no sodium beef stock
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 springs of fresh thyme
4 – 1/2 thick slices of baguette or other crusty bread toasted
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup of grated fontina, or gouda, gruyere, whatever nice melting cheese you like
Melt butter and olive oil in a 3 quart pot, add sliced leeks and onions, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, saute on med. heat , stirring often until onions and leeks are a deep mahogany colour, do not burn (this may take 1/2 an hour or more), add minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add sherry to deglaze, let cook for a couple of minutes, add stock , thyme sprigs, pepper and salt to taste, add as much or as little salt as you like, but remember you can add more, but you can’t take it back out! Heat to the boiling point, lower heat and simmer for 1/2 hour. Spoon into oven proof bowls, top with toasted bread and divide cheese evenly between bowls. Stick under the broiler for about 5 minutes until cheese gets bubbly and golden brown, serve and enjoy!
Shrimp Rolls – serves 2
15 or so large cooked, deveined shrimp ( I used 31-40) shells removed, cut into 3 chunks
1 stalk of celery cut into a small dice
2 radishes cut into a small dice
1/2 tsp. of minced red onion
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. of mayonnaise
2 hamburger buns toasted on the inside
2 lettuce leaves
Mix together onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt and pepper, whisk to combine smoothly. Add mayo mixture to chopped shrimp, celery, and radishes and stir to combine. Toast hamburger buns and butter toasted side, lay a lettuce leaf on the bottom side of bun, top with shrimp mixture and top of bun. Make yummy noises as you pretend they are lobster rolls.